Hardcore Gamer

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2700 Published Reviews

Last Stop

PC
7.00
Kyle LeClairJul 21, 2021
It can still be a fun ride with a lot of enjoyable twists and turns, and could be recommended for fans of narrative-focused games, but it could have benefited from more depth. Last Stop is a good, straight shot of a subway ride that gets you to your destination, but don’t expect much beyond that.

Boomerang X

PC
8.00
Jordan HelmJul 20, 2021
Boomerang X isn’t the lengthiest venture and for a game whose attraction lies solely in its gameplay, one’s enjoyment will naturally come down to how embedded in its mechanics you end up becoming. But even if the delivery is committing to that one lone trick, you can’t say that what DANG! has produced, brief it might be, doesn’t have its hooks.

Death's Door

PC
9.00
Kyle LeClairJul 20, 2021
Death’s Door is a gem of a soulslike game with a nice and meaty level of challenge and a world filled with lovable characters and loads of secrets to uncover. It may seem minor compared to most in the genre when it comes to length, clocking in at around ten to twelve hours, but it will be one memorable journey. Come for the charming little crow and the colorful cast that they meet after slicing and dicing a few dozen monsters, stay for the excellent writing and the superb tale about death.

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

Switch
9.00
Kirstin SwalleyJul 20, 2021
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is not only the best way to enjoy this title, but hopefully will be remembered more fondly thanks to welcome adjustments and improvements that make an already wonderful entry in the long-running series even more wonderful.

Cotton Reboot

Switch
8.00
Jeremy PeeplesJul 19, 2021
Cotton Reboot! is a fantastic re-imagining of a classic side-scrolling shooter. It looks and sounds better than ever and thanks to being able to switch between soundtracks, players can enjoy whichever audio experience they prefer. Including the original game’s X6800 port is a nice move and makes this a fantastic value for anyone looking to see what made the series so beloved in its heyday and still enjoy a redone experience too.

ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights

PC
9.00
Chris ShiveJul 19, 2021
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights is a fantastic metroidvania. It doesn’t do anything to revolutionize the genre, but it does excel at creating at creating a memorable experience that follows the familiar metroidvania template while still being unique.

Indigo 7 Quest for love

Switch
8.00
Jeremy PeeplesJul 13, 2021
Indigo 7: Quest for Love’s puzzle formula is engaging and manages to be a mix of easy to learn, but tricky to master. It’s not an all-time great game, but it’s well-crafted and has a lot of heart. The comedy hits far more than it misses and the story mode is a riot to see unfold and use as a learning tool.

F1 2021

PS5
7.00
Cory WellsJul 12, 2021
The removal of Classic Mode and the ability to race as a current F1 driver in any mode outside of Grand Prix is disheartening and the fact that this information wasn’t made readily available to potential buyers isn’t good. Hopefully the issues with the AI can be patched as the actual racing and car physics are still excellent. There was a lot of opportunity for F1 2021, and on top of three circuits on this year’s calendar not being readily available for launch, there’s a lot left on the table for the current generation premiere of the series.

Ys IX: Monstrum Nox

Switch
7.00
Chris ShiveJul 12, 2021
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is a great game that maintains enough elements of previous Ys games so that longtime fans will feel at home while the Monstrum gifts breathe new life into the gameplay. This is a must-play for fans of the series or action JRPGs in general, but while the hardware limitations of the Switch do not ruin the game or make it unplayable, they have been sources of frustration that take some of the fun away from the experience.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

Switch
9.00
Kirstin SwalleyJul 07, 2021
Monster Hunter Stories was one of the most brilliant spin-off decisions in the series and this sequel does its best to improve upon what the original started and does it well. The story is wonderfully charming and manages to have tons of surprises to keep players invested in learning more as they adventure through.

Minute of Islands

PC
6.00
Jordan HelmJul 05, 2021
Pleasant that visual style and detail with its imagery remains throughout — a couple of instances where that combining of color and complexity does strike one or two favorable moments — Minute of Islands‘ unaltered, more-of-the-same approach to everything other than its imagery feels fated to be easily forgotten the moment the credits roll.

Overboard!

Switch
9.00
Kyle LeClairJul 02, 2021
Overboard! is one of the year’s most delightful surprises so far, a terrific reverse murder mystery with several twists and turns around every corner, and one that can still put up a notable challenge as you try to figure out every possible step towards getting Veronica off the hook and on the path to a life of luxury instead.

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny

Switch
6.00
Adam BeckJun 25, 2021
You can just not use it, but it feels like it’s meant to be used and abused to level up considering the recommendations for each chapter. If you had told me this was originally going to be a free-to-play mobile game, I would believe you. Unbalanced, chaotic and a mess, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny pushes the franchise in the wrong direction. There are glimmers of excellence, but it all comes together in such a disheartening package.

SCARLET NEXUS

PC
5.00
Jordan HelmJun 23, 2021
Who’s to say what the real, developer-side cause is for Scarlet Nexus‘ failings. What was already a mammoth undertaking in crafting a competent-enough hack-and-slash action game that could muscle its way into the spotlight, Bandai Namco’s latest in-house creation is not just inadequate in appeasing long-time fans of the genre, but worse, comes across ignorant of its own player’s time.

Legend of Mana

Switch
8.00
Kirstin SwalleyJun 22, 2021
Legend of Mana was already a fantastic experience when it first released, and this brand new HD release has helped make it all the more endearing. While the unique story structure can make it confusing to approach at first, the brilliant, funny and charming writing cannot be denied.

Chivalry 2

PC
7.00
Cory WellsJun 15, 2021
This is an excellent title to play a couple of rounds and come back to at another date. Those that want to grind and get skilled have the chance to do this. For PC players, the keyboard and mouse combo works well with the combat mechanics. As more and more content comes to the game including gameplay improvements, the experience should only improve. Either way, it’s hard to put the game down.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

PS5
8.00
Kevin DunsmoreJun 15, 2021
Final Fantasy VII Remake, even with its shortcomings, was one of the better games to launch in 2020. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade takes that experience and makes it look and play better. If you had any problems with the story, world design or gameplay, Intergrade won’t change your mind.

Edge Of Eternity

PC
7.00
Chris ShiveJun 10, 2021
Edge of Eternity is a love letter to classic Final Fantasy and Xenoblade games. It doesn’t live up to the level of its influences, but given the small team and limited resources, it’s an impressive attempt. The story does rely on tropes and the characters aren’t all that likeable, and while the game comes close to reaching its ambitious goals, it never reaches its full potential.

NINJA GAIDEN: Master Collection

PS4
6.00
Kevin DunsmoreJun 09, 2021
The Ninja Gaiden franchise has been sorely missed. Its brand of fast-paced hack-and-slash action has mostly vanished in today’s gaming landscape. Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection brings that back, providing a trip down memory lane. The collection reminds us of the campy plots that worked and the serious one that didn’t; the intense and layered gameplay that brought people to the franchise in the first place and the over-the-top action that enraptured the senses.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

PS5
9.00
Kevin DunsmoreJun 08, 2021
An outstanding roster of fun weapons mixed with great gameplay helps mitigate the disappointing enemy variety. As a marquee PS5 title, the presentation excellently showcases the system’s power and flexibility. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart may not stray too far from the franchise’s established formula, but Insomniac Games has crafted a fantastic game that builds on its legacy and charts a new path forward.

Backbone

PC
8.00
Kyle LeClairJun 07, 2021
Even if it’s brief and falters during the third act, there’s no denying that Backbone is a truly gorgeous and captivating adventure, with an engrossing world that you’ll want to see even more of. It’s a unique mystery with a cast of amazing anthropomorphic animals that ends up going places players won’t expect, and it’s also one that’s likely worth revisiting after you’ve finished.

Neptunia ReVerse

PS5
8.00
Jeremy PeeplesJun 07, 2021
Neptunia ReVerse is a must-buy for anyone who has wanted to get into the long-running series, but didn’t know where to start. It’s the best-balanced entry in the series yet and also the best-looking thanks to a whole-new engine being used to ensure that the franchise can look as good as possible moving forward.

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE-

PS4
8.00
Chris ShiveJun 07, 2021
Guilty Gear Strive proves there’s still some fight left in 2D gaming. Between the gorgeous visuals, rocking soundtrack and highly-polished gameplay, Guilty Gear Strive delivers the total package when it comes to making a great fighting game and is one of the best modern 2D fighters. A lot of care went into making this a contender for gaining a strong online presence, but the developers also didn’t skimp on single player content.

Astalon: Tears of the Earth

PC
8.00
Jeremy PeeplesJun 03, 2021
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is a tough, but fair NES-inspired Metroidvania that tests your mettle and makes it worthwhile. Each of the three playable characters is fun to use and the gradual difficulty curve makes it easy to learn from trial and error and succeed more with each new run. It controls wonderfully, looks great, and has impressive sound design too.

Stonefly

PC
6.00
Kyle LeClairJun 01, 2021
Stonefly had all of the right parts to create an impressive and cool-looking machine, but unlike its heroine, it wasn’t able to fully assemble them properly. The end result is an ambitious journey that has a lot of moments worth checking out, but quickly begins to grow tiresome thanks to overly-repetitive combat, backtracking and grinding.